Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NC: Economic growth but little job growth

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released figures this morning showing that total inflation-adjusted output in North Carolina grew 1.8 percent in 2011, after growing 2.5 percent in 2010. The state's growth in 2011 was higher than the national rate of 1.5 percent and the southeastern state average of 0.9 percent.

Growth in NC was led by an increase in manufacturing, which contributed 0.8 percent, and finance and insurance, which contributed another 0.45 percent.

For the second year in a row, economic growth in the state outpaced population growth. On a per capita basis, economic growth increased 0.8 percent in 2011, putting North Carolina 17th among the 50 states and DC.

Despite this growth in output, North Carolina added fewer than 34,000 non-farm jobs in 2011, a growth rate of only 0.9 percent. Nationally, the job growth was much closer to output growth at 1.4 percent.

The Chamber of Commerce and the Republican legislature claim that a poor business climate is holding back job growth. North Carolina businesses, however, appear to be performing better than the national average--they also got a nice break in their tax rates. Maybe it's time for businesses to show a little of that love to the state's workforce.